music , mind , thought and emotion

There is not a society on this planet, nor probably ever has been, which is without some form of musical expression, often closely linked with rythm and dance. My question is less concentrated on the latter two however.
What I am pondering boils down to:
What is music and what does it do to us
Why do we differentiate music from random noise so clearly and yet can pick up certain samples within that noise as musical.
By listening to music, we find some perhaps interesting, some which we would call musical. What differentiates "musical music" from "ordinary music" and this again from "noise"?
In a more general sense again:
If music has impact on us, what is the nature of our receptors for it. Or better: Who, what are we, that music can do to us what it does?
What would be the nature of a system, which practically all of us would agree upon, that it imparts musicality best?
And finally, if such a sytem would exist, can this quality be measured?
I think that certain things are hardwired and certain things are learned. The hardwired pieces are appreciation for rhythm and melody. Maybe it comes from reacting to the rhythms of nature -- surf, wind, etc. In any event, moving your body to a rhythm seems very natural. Humans are not alone in moving to a beat -- maybe it's a survival trait that helps tribes bond. Speaking of survival, there is a certain rhythm to mating (i.e. the act) so that may be related to the need for this hardwiring. Melody seems like a natural thing since babies enjoy it so much and it is soothing. Why would it be linked to our survival as a species and be hardwired? I'm at a loss. Maybe it's related to language itself and the cadence of the spoken word -- every language has differences in this so it would be imperative for humans to perceive these differences since very subtle variations have different meanings. Again, it's a survival of the fittest thing -- but here, "fit" means having an inate ability to perceive subtle differences in tone and rhythm.

Beyond that, I think much is learned. For example, the enjoyment of the subtlties of an orchestra or appreciation of the nuances of a jazz bass. Different cultures and groups focus and emphasize different aspects of this. By the way, this is not to say that even this is unrelated to survival. For example, a more analytic mind may pick up micro detail that is very enjoyable for that person. The analytic ability is important for the species -- some have more than others. The more sensory mind may pick up the macro mood or "meshing" that is very enjoyable for that person. Again, the Emotional IQ ability is important for the species and again, some have more than others.

In terms of musical systems -- I would suspect that the abilitiy to convey most of the information accurately is a key. Most of the information is in the midrange. So, that's a start. Beyond that, it may depend on whether people enjoy tha macro vs. micro, etc. I do believe that the macro tends to prevail for musicality (by the way, there was an excellent threas on that a year or so ago).

Whew! I'm taking a deep breath now and firmly saying that all of the above is IMHO. Very philosphical and interesting question. I'm looking forward to a long and interesting thread here.
Detlof, There is no "what is" (matters or light/dark, etc..) only "how is". You can't define "it" (the one Asa talked about) in the higher definition (except/accept human def., languages). You only recognize "it" when you see "it" (in this case hear it).
When one listens to the music, "it" is all music. When one not listens to the music, "it" is all "one". Once one passes "that", one is a "free" man. Think of it as water and waves. When one are sad/happy (dark/light) the waves is high. When one are happy/sad the waves is lower. Ask oneself this, when one in not sad, not happy, where is the wave? Once one get that, all one's burning questions is answered! Music's, noises, "light/dark", "mirror", "beneath, it is not", "beneath is not"; all these are tools, and only tools they are...
One is a potential non-audiophile, then...Because; all one listen is music, then. There are no stages, no states, and no levels. Because, it there are stages, there are higher/lower stages. If there are states, there is higher/lower states, levels, etc. Only musical...or not musical.
I am writing all this. Asking for 3 cents in return is not too much, is it not? :-)
Your thread title explains it all. Music comes from the mental exercise of tapping ones emotions. If what you hear connects with some small part of your emotion it will, at the least, capture your attention momentarily. Should a composer/artist tap into the motherload of your emotions you will be captivated. This same phenomenon occurs with poetry and traditional art.
Detlof to me music is a mystery,my relationship with it has been a lifetime love affair however to quote Van Morrison

"It ain't why.......................It just is"

As for systems well yes I suppose there may be aspects that may enhance our enjoyment but at the basic levels you are talking I don't think it matters.
If there is a piece of music that touches you then it touches you however you hear it.
To boil it down to nothing.
Imagine you lose a close friend or split up with your partner and you hear their favourite song.
Do you really think it matters if it's on a $10 radio,a boom box or a state of the art sysytem?
I like hi-fi but I only use to enhance the experience of listening to music.
What effect that music has is down to the music and/or me.
Music is just one of the ways to communicate. Instead of speach there could be a sound or a group of. Sometimes like a speach or conversation it has a meaning and sometimes it doesn't.
I believe that music cannot be judged as musical or non-musical.
Music can describe a subject, colour and can also have a characteristics to be either poetical and lyrical or prosaic and descriptive. Music can also be abstract and undefined.

Music can also be scientifically expressed as a result of a physical process that transforms mechanical or electric energy into the audiable oscilations that stress the air with certain force and enrgy. It can be also visualized as an array of linear sinusoidal functions.

As a clear example that by means of sounds you can express a colour even with different ways of representation(Miles Davis's "Aura") and even "Pictures from Exhibition" of Mussorgski. Thus the music can drive the human's fantasy not only visualizing the unaudiable subjects as colour or pictures but make it audiable.

Certainly hearing the Mile's representation of colours it's difficult to hear any particular colour without looking at the track listing but after understanding the concept of Mile's masterpiece you realize that he's realy representing in his own way red blue green etc...

When you visit Tret'yakoff Galery in Moscow be ready to have a pocket player to turn Mussorgski's "Pictures from Exhibition" when you start walking by the pictures he's audialized. Simply an outstanding experience! You will never forget the view of these pictures and the way they were described by one of the great russian composers.

Music can also be heard as a story, tale or the poem

Jazz, Rock'n'roll, Blues, Metal, Pop etc... are the simplified versions of music that basically focuses on entertainment on its original meaning.

In many cases when I listen to the music I always try to find some meaning that it could be some village or city, colour or picture. Very often I might realize that the music is based on some portraits of Picasso where not everything is perfect.
Leo Brouer(cuban guitar composer) made out his version of famous cuban lulliby that also doesn't seem to be perfect meaning that "you can't just sleep and see your dreams nowdays, cub"

All other different characteristics such as consonance, dissonance, musical un-musical are only statistical values.
Music & the visual arts, impart immediate effect upon us -- as opposed to, say, literature that requires a vehicle (reading).
Music in particular, being non-visual (whereas our basic defenses mostly are) can inspire spontaneous emotional action -- taking us unawares, before we have the time activate our behaviourist controls, as it were. The difference with noise, or even fearful sounds, is that the structure of sound that we call music MUST appeal to a number of innate characteristics of our race, and thereby impact upon emotions. One of these is the sense of sublime rythm (the latter in the ancient greek sense -- not timing...), or harmonious balance. Harmony in its original sense referred to the correct sequence and correlation of things. It is or not at all. Maybe this joins 6's "no-states/stages" because stages are a limitation by definition. Music appeals to an innate quest for balance, maybe? After all we are delivered with a physical two-dimensional balance, so music, our creation, reflects and can can speak to, this balance...
But the archetypal impact of music throughout the ages is probably and primarily emotional: think of follia, of ritual music, of walking over hot coals "under (partly musically generated) trance"... -- or the 3rd Reich's (ab)use of Wagner (not the best pieces at that!)...

Coming to Oz's point about learning to appreciate (Oz is more detailed on the subject, above)I beg to agree & slightly disagree, from personal experience.
When I first heard parts of Mahler's 5th symphony, I did not know Mahler, nor "classical music" nor, of course, had I any affinity with the finer points of musical appreciation... In fact, I couldn't talk yet, I was 1 yr old so cognitive skills had't been developed (I'm getting better now).
I was, reportedly, mesmerised: glued to a position with my mouth open -- and my parents used to play Mahler & Tchaikovski on an old auto player that repeated the record, so I would keep quiet & not come to mischief.

So, I hadn't yet developed an understanding/appreciation for this type of music.
On the other hand, as Oz suggests, appreciating O. Coleman required investment on my part; it is "sophisticated", i.e. does not speak to me spontaneously.

A note on the reproduction of music: I believe that there is no subjective "best" way/sound to reproduce music, to each one of us her/his own. This is a function of experience & inculcation.
But I also believe that there are objectively "better" systems in reproducing music. This is not a function; it's a matter of approaching reality. It's a matter that borrows on 6's last point.

The reason I dare assert the above is that I listen to acoustic music primarily -- and I also listen to a lot of live music. So I have an easy aural benchamrk. So, a violin is a violin or isn't. Dynamics are or not...etc. Even electric instruments are relatively easy to recognise sonically. BUT i don't have to worry about the producer's sound effects... where, I wouldn't have a benchmark!
This holds despite the recording or the remastering (we all know that, don't we advise as to the "quality" of the recording?).

I admit that music is stronger than its reproduction; I have been moved with a small Sony and with my own. Just that with my system these occasions are more frequent; sometimes the sensation of being there is enough to move me -- due to misplaced nostalgia?

If you've read this far, thank you. This subject fascinates me. Clink!
Gregm, I've lost all my "Ten Bull" to you. Can I please have one, back? Only one? Thanks. :-)
Gregm, I think we are together on your points. My hypothesis is that melody is a "natural" fascination but I suspect you appreciate the nuances and structure more today.

6chac, I know that something is with me, I just hope it's useful someday ;-)
This is easy: What my 12 year old listens to is noise; I listen to music. I think that sums it up.
Seriously, though--while my statement is trite, there is truth to it. Music is emotional and it touches every individual in a different way. I often find it difficult to understand people that do not place any value on music--that simple don't care--but those are the same people that look at me and wonder "how can you invest so much time and energy into music?"
I think both Ozfly and Marakanetz had well thought out ideas on the subject, and I don't think I could ad anything in the vein they discussed this. I would like to examine the subject from a different angle (back to my 12 year old).
So my example of my 12 year old that listens to Eminem (when he knows Dad isn't around) is clear that music speaks to people and moves them on different levels. (It moves me to turn that thing off!) It also shows that whatever moves us is something that we get some sort of emotional outlet, release, comfort--or whatever. Music is an emotional mover. Wouldn't it be fun to watch a movie that played Gladiator fight them songs to the lovemaking scenes and soft violins playing romatically while some wild chase scene is occurring (this has been done in many movies during violent scenes--and you can feel the tragedy rather than the usual adrenaline/excitement emotion). Think of how significant music is used to translate emotion.
While I don't care for certain types of music (and sometimes can't really find the music quality) I think it is very short sided to condemn it (except for the possible explicit language that I don't think is healthy to listen to on a regualar basis--this view comes from being a father). So some people want to turn up the volume and bang their heads to heavy metal. This is what is emotionally satisfying or moving to them. I will never forget a guy that came into a friend of mine's stereo store. He said: "I want something that plays LOUD". He didn't look like he had much, but my friend showed him the loudest system they had: Klipschorns with 600 watts of McIntosh power. He said thank you and left. He later returned and said: "I've been to 10 other stores and asked the same question--when I asked them about the Klipsch and McIntosh combination--all of them said--yeah that WILL play loud." He bought the system with cash. Now, the point is--is that music--getting something to play as loud as possible. Well, to me no it isn't. But to this person it was. He wanted to play heavy metal and concert level volumes in the first row. He could be deaf now--I wonder if there's product liability in selling something that plays that loud.
I was going to write what music moves me and how--but I think I've already babbled too much.
To me the music/emotion link is a great question that has no answer (yet). I do know that music can follow heartrate, so that if you're feeling amped you want to listen to music with a faster beat. But I still have not figured out how music can tap my emotions in a way I describe as triggering nostalgia for memories I never had.

It is definitely instinctive and not learned to a great degree. This leads me to believe evolution (God if you're a Christian reader) was involved. Possibly music is and always has been a way to influence many people at once, building community and common thought. And those who naturally didn't experience that way were weeded out (or put more bluntly, didn't reproduce).
Hey all: Detlof has something in store... Speach, speach, Detlof! (Pls don't you hate me, Detlof.)
BTW, where are the the others? Don't we all buy systems to listen to music? This thread is about music...
Matt8268, I went to Catholic school in my childhood. There is a picture that always impressed me. You probably saw it. Jesus Chris with the opened heart. :-)

What is the unity measure of quality or how would you define for example QP(quality point)?

I believe that this value can only be measurad statistically.

Now realize how many people will say that I love my small boom-box with the huge CD collection that I listen every day... Basing on that research you can come to a conclusion that Bose system is the best.

As I've mentioned before that music is more likely communication and the quality of the system is mainly statistics.

Music can also have a statistical factor of human's appreciation vs. system which needs to be determined from the different "angles".

For example:

Who has larger appreciation factor to the music the one who has 20 records and/or CDs and $40,000 system or the one who has 2000 records and/or CDs and $1,000 system?

One would say: "Certainly in the second case the appreciation factor is bigger!" and I would say: "Wait-a-minute, how would you know? Maybe the second one is just a crazy record collector that almost never listens to them but the first one has his favourite music played many times per day!" And vice versa I would say: "Wait-a-minute, maybe in the first case one only listens to the recordings but doesn't care too much about the music or how it's being performed?"

And finally, What is true:
Music for the System or System for the Music??
Wow, I always thought the ears (sense) is closest to the soul, so is the music, so is audiophile people. Ya just have to dig 'em out. :-)
For most people music is a language. Especially since the almost global acceptance of the chromatic scale. 4/4 time is as common as typical speech patterns. Just as a sour taste makes our mouths pucker, certain sounds make us tap our feet or even dance. Just as artists have learned that mixing yellow and green produces blue, composers have learned that minor chords evoke pathos. Words with out commonality are appreciated by few. The same joke heard repeatedly usually looses it's effect. The same words used to create a new joke enjoys new appreciation. The combination of the familiar with the unique will usually enjoy the biggest audience. Hendrix may have created a new sound, but it was based on 12 bar blues. Stevie Wonder played the same music on different instuments (the moog). The harmonic complexities of the saxophone were origianlly played to traditional music. When the sound of the saxophone became common it gave birth to Parker and Hornathology. With out a common element it is most challanging to communicate (though not impossible)and at the same time a common element with out an original inflection becomes tiresome if heard too often no matter how profound or well(I know, rather qualifying)it was done. Music may seem more abstract than other art forms and yet it shares more than less with other art forms. This was elequently pointed out in the previous post re: colors. We can see comedy and tragedy, we can feel pain and pleasure, we can taste bitter and sweet, it should be easy to understand why we can discern noise and music. It's interesting to note that there isn't necessarily right or wrong in these contrasts and in fact they can in proper sequence compliment each other. While on some level we have produced tools that consistently evoke a consistent reaction, these tools have a shelf life. As the minds, thoughts and emotions of humans is not static, neither can music be static if it is to fullfill it's roll.
Now how mathematicians can percieve art in equations is beyond me. One day I'd like to gain appreciation of that!
Einstein: "In music I do not look for logic. I am quite intutitive on the whole and know no theories." So you're not alone Unsound.
1. Hearing is the very last sense to go before death. Babies already recognize the sound of their mother's voice by the time they are born. People in comas hear others speaking to them even though they cannot call themselves back to consciousness. Sound mediates human attachment. Is this why speech evolved as the principle mode of communication between individuals rather than, e.g. sign language?

2. Music taps into our emotional vocabulary directly. I am not so sure this is "learned". Soulful, joyful, noble, strident, melancholy, grieving, agonizing - we have an amazing consensus among ourselves about the particular emotion a musical passage conveys. Music establishes emotional state rapidly and unambiguously.

So, then, why does one singer's voice appear more beautiful than another's? What is a Stradivarious, or a Steinway? And why do we agree that some instruments are more beautiful than others? Why is Stan Getz called "The Sound"? What does he do while playing a sax that allows him to create a more vivid image in our spiritual gestalt?

I think the answer may lie in the sophisticated way we distinguish signal from noise using a sensor that is automated to drive the circuitry of human experience and survival. Probably a disappointingly shallow answer.
Ahhh, 6! You have now revealed yourself:)! Good for Matt... that picture of Jesus says it all!!! Clink
Judit, you are right on. They said that the eyes is the windows to the soul. But the ears actually closest to the soul.

- Eyes only see things in front.
- Ears can hear 360 degrees.

- Eyes closed when one sleep.
- Ears is conscious when one asleep.

Most men/women with large beautiful eyes are usually handsome/beautiful.

Most men/women with large nice ears are usually rich or lucky.

...Most of these hi-end audiophile guys...If you know what I mean...;-)
A most excellent post. I think Ozfly and Unsound have summed it up nicely in saying (forgive me if I have misunderstood) that melody and rhythm are fundamentally understood by humankind and that a great deal of what we "really" appreciate in listening to or participating in music is based on our intellectual appreciation of the place of that music within our own musical history. I also like Gregm's comment that harmony is better understood as being what is "the correct sequence or correlation of things". I think that sense of the word harmony effectively differentiates "musical music" from "ordinary music" and noise. That which is most harmonious - that which is most correct in its sequence and correlation - is that which pleases us most. I am in the harmony as nurture vs. nature camp. I would cite African music as an example in that it runs on a different tonal scale (here I would disagree with Unsound in saying that the chromatic (I assume meaning diatonic) scale is globally accepted) and with an entirely different rhythmic base than western music (some would say arrhythmic but I would say multi-rhythmic) but even if westerners cannot sing along with it, anyone who grows up with African scales and rhythms finds it completely harmonious.

I am not certain that one piece of music would convey the same emotion to all people around the world who listen to it if they have not been subjected to it before. If someone can tell me/us who don't know, I would like to know if a song in an African pentatonic scale had a "minor" key interpretation in western music, would it have the same pathological and emotional meaning in Africa (and I'm sure I'm being overly broad here) as it does to those brought up in the western musical tradition?

Unsound, regarding art in equations... "art" in music is taking the pieces we already know and rearranging them in a way which makes us "see" something in a new way. I have to imagine that to serious mathematicians, there are few new building blocks but the ways of using them eloquently are still being discovered, and a new discovery which excites the senses and stirs the emotions is indeed a thing of beauty.

And I agree with Gregm that Detlof likely has something prepared for us... I, for one, am looking forward to it.
T bone, I'haven't but I'm full of ideas. If I didn't have to write up a lot of other stuff, I would already have come out with them. Will have to wait until the middle of next week. Great and inspiring posts so far, thanks to all of you. Feel in excellent company and at home. Please keep the ideas coming. Cheers and thanks to all!

"Pity I cannot meet you all in person. We'd have great discussions over much ... along! Cheers to all!"

With respect, same here :-)
6chac (and anyone else--especially Detlof): Who's going to CES? This is a great philsophical question, and would be much more fun to continue in person.
Ozfly, loved what you said about surf. What mind state - what type of receptivity - does the surf catalyze? When you are looking at the surf, and you forget you are looking, is there surf and you, or does surf/you only exist after you look and you then look back and think about it. When you are experiencing beauty most deeply, does the perciever/percieved dichotomy collapse in only percieving?

Question: detlof looks to cross-cultural connection and continuity (Oz, your tribal reference), but shouldn't, evolutionarilty speaking, the desire towards music go back further if so engrained? And, if so, what is the Darwinian incentive?

In other words, music is experienced in a passive, receptive mode of mind and body - hardly what evolution would select as a viable behavior for either a predator or prey. Remember, its not just rest that defines being drawn to music (animals sleep to rest), but its leisure in in what one is drawn to. So, what evolutionary mechanism would favor that dynamic? If only instinctual prey/predator (the "hard wired" part) then what selects such an unviable luxury of a being being drawn to music?

But then, remember, what we are drawn to is music, but by another name, more fundamental, it is being drawn to beauty. Is being drawn to beauty hard wired (doesn't seem so from above) or learned? Does this explain why humans listen to music and Bonobo Chimps do not? But...who "teaches" me to look at a sunset and see its beauty? Does anyone ever need to be taught?

If the inertia to be drawn to music/beauty is not instinctual per se, and it is not learned through listening to anothers thoughts on the experience (socialization), then where does it come from? Perhaps, consider this: there is a dynamic to evolution that parallels the Darwinian instincts of the deep mind, and parallels the evolution of thinking, and yet, just now, latent in all forms, is emerging more prominent in homo sapiens, so now we sit here and discuss it? Are we, below developing instincts to hunt and flee, below the developmemnt of advanced thinking, have also always been moving towards a fuller and fuller receptivity to beauty? Beside the arc of Darwinism has there also been an arc towards beauty?

When you look at surf, or sink deeply into the music - immersed in beauty - the mind is silent. In that moment, the mind is absent prey-predator impulse, or thinking, and is open to what is, in this case melody.

Have we been evolving towards the ability to silence the animal mind, the socialized mind, and, in so doing, "see" more beauty, hear more beauty?

The Chimp can't let his mind fade, but you can.

The answer is not in the instinctual past, or in the socialized present, it is in our collective future.

So, why do we all want to listen to our stereos and sink without thought into that beauty?

It is a Taste of who we could be.

Then, in that silent space, where your mind is silent, what are you connected to? Does it have something to do with what 6ch said of the opened heart?

Procreation requires rhythm. Humans added harmony. Once you get tired (or old enough) you don't need the rhythm part anymore. Hence most asian or Western European music.
I REALLY gotta get some sleep....
Thanks for the laugh, Subaru! Very funny.

Does evolutionarily developed recognition of patterns in sound necessarily lead to (even though it may form the underlying matrix) to the receptivity to beauty that we presently experience. The former (pocreation,prey/predator reactions) all represent an active mind directed at the environment to manipulate some object there. Receptivity to beauty/music, however, is characterized by a "letting go" of the active, analytical, objectifying mind as one sinks deeper. What Darwinistic mechanism would account for such a shift, especially if physical viability is decreased by the latter?

Logically speaking, there are two possibilies:

1. Darwinistic evolution of sound perception is not determinant of music appreciation, and each is a separate dynamic of evolution, or

2. Darwinistic evolution on sound recognition (active) is integral with music appreciation (receptive), and, contrary to being a separate mechanism, is one that forms the devolpment for the latter; active mind is not determitive of receptivity, but forms the ground for its emergence.

My evidence? What I've been saying all along (listening Zaikesman?):

When you first sit down to listen, you listen predominantly with the thinking mind; seeing sound as source-objects, interested in detail and accuracy that bounds those projections from the space around it, your language to describe it dominated by visual terms (predators are visually orientated), seeing the sound as if it were "out there", a la Valin's "statue garden", external to you, in the environment outside, something to manipulate. Then, as you sink deeper you "let go" of this urge to think-the-sound, you move from active to receptive, your mind more sensitive to emotions towards the music in the relief of thoughts being absent (hence, the emotion-based language used to describe this level's experience), with thinking fading the dichtomy between inside/outside collapsing, the music is not out there, but integral with you.

The journey your mind takes every time you sit down for that late Friday night listening session is reflective of the evloutionary journey the collective human mind has taken to...get to the place where you can experience music/beauty as you do.

This is not a coincidence....
Asa, I think Subaru's comment could find an easier parallel in the idea of 'harmony & "appropriate" rythm' put forth in ancient greek tragedy. There, harmony (i.e. beauty or perceived "correctness") is interactive UNLESS the forces of nature or the "cosmic rules" foresee otherwise. (We cannot overcome the natural and cosmic rules.) But we are bound/expected to distinguish beauty from its opposite (i.e. dynamic approach)... That presupposes we specifically pursue your 2nd point. Not the first, nor the basic premise.
I may have missed the point, however..:)
Greg, you made my brain think hard. Thank you. Some of what you say are things I don't know, but I will try to answer.

Yes, # 2 option above is correct. The evolutionary development of receptivity to beauty has been developing right along side the Darwinian side (active analytic cognition). When you are an amoeba you are completely focused on the exterior with a binary thought pattern that shifts only two ways (light/dark, pery/predator etc.). With modern humans, the influence of the environment on our evolution has lessened with the inverse increase in our power over matter (technology). This, in turn, leads towards a situation where humans are less prey of the environment and have space in their mind opened towards "beauty"; in the lessened instinctual thoughts towards the external a space is opened in which the dynamic arc towards receptivity towards beauty emerges.

My question would then be, when does sound become "harmony"? It only happens in the mind, ie I can't walk out my front door and point to "harmony", so what accounted for that shift in perception? What caused us to see sound as harmony (read: music). I believe my argument against a Darwinistic catalyst above still holds in the comtext of this question. What caused the primordial mind to structure sound into patterns that had meaning, apart from telling him that the leaf moving behind him was a predator? Why did he become suseptible/open/receptive to that "harmonic" meaning?

Yes, we hear music in the matrix of its structure of sound, but the "cosmic rules" that dictate that structure (a whole different discussion on what they are), do not determine meaning.

Structure does not fall from the sky; it is created by the mind. The will towards that creation is prior to the structure that is produced, regardless of a template for structure. What will manifected in us that caused us to structure sound from that focused on sound instinctually, and towards a structure that moved towrds receptivity towards "harmony"? The structure changed, yes, but that was only a symptom of a change in the orientation of the mind towards sound. The will changed. What caused that reorientation, one that had a contrary purpose from Darwinistic-engrained instincts. Didn't it have to be a "cosmic force" not accounted by Darwinism?

What is a force that moves the mind towards meaning, even as that move makes him/her less viable against the environment?

(Hint: Next answer could be that "harmony" lead towrds social cohesion in group, thus having a social Darwinistic cause. I don't agree but its a good argument...)

Detlof: what is the meaning of "harmony"? Or rather, the meaning of its experience? What was/is its purpose? Beauty and an Opening of the Heart?
"What was/is its purpose? Beauty and an Opening of the Heart?"

Asa, if you really want the answer to its purpose. E-mail me off-line.
Thanks, 6ch. Was asking detlof, but, yes, I would be interested to your answer (can it be in words...?)

OK, I will bite...


Ozfly, so good start, very smart, where are you? Nothing made you think?
Asa, thanks -- I can't answer yet though I'd like to, spontaneously... must put thoughts in order. 6 has info; he must be cajoled into revealing it ;)
Oh, let me rub the bottle that is the recepticle of 6ch! I asked him and now he won't tell me, and I just, just...


But wait for your response, Gregm.
Good day 6ch :-)

Detlof!! you cruelly draw me into this thread, knowing I can't possibly stop, and I purposely only came when there was a four day lapse, and only because your question was so good, and only because Ozfly said so good, and....

Rub, rub, rub that bottle...
Oh, 6ch, I didn't know that you could be a smart alleck too! :0)

You know, 6ch, you'd better be careful, or you might, just might become, become a curmudgeon like me; like waking and looking in the mirror and there, there's a pumpkin on your head.

"awe": Been holding onto that one, one? Where was it being held, being held? Remember what i said about holding onto those /'s and "'s?


It is funny, though, the awe thing i mean.... :0)
Ok, I'll go home now...

Smell of the mitt and mowed grass, dragonflies clicking overhead, the smell of the creek, the worn path around the house from playing tag at dusk, the call of my Mother down the block for supper, mitt over the bat over my shoulder as "i" walk home.
Asa, I apologize but am in the process of moving into a new home and have just enough time to say I'll get with you all tomorrow. I've not even had time to do more than scan the responses (and laugh a bit). No offense or neglect meant -- some great stuff here. "I'll be baack"
Asa, interesting surf questions.

The surf is the heartbeat of the world. It exists regardless of how it is appreciated. Although I hate to categorize or pigeon-hole people too much (far too many complexities really), a Jungian based profiling methodolgy (the Meyers-Briggs tests) splits people into 16 types. These types hold constant proportionally across any human culture so, I believe, reveals fundamental human, rather than cultural, differences and similarities. Why the differences? From a Darwinian perspective, I think we needed different ways to think and act in order to survive as a species. No one way wins alone in all situations. Hence, the fundamental need for cooperation. Hold that thought for a minute.

Getting back to the surf, I would contend that everyone appreciates it in some way. However, I don't believe that it is in the same way. (By the way, ditto for musical appreciation). Is an appreciation of the surf, or rhythm, fundamental to survival? Probably. Pacing our physical labors is rhythmic and the reproductive act itself is rhythmic. And, by the way, survival based or not, our first nine months is nothing but rythmic inside the womb. On a more macro level, we need to cooperate to survive, but we are different from one another which leads to tension. Does rhythm help hold us together as a tribe? I believe so. The pre-tribe stuff doesn't matter as much since you had to reproduce within a tribal setting to keep the genes going.

So how is the surf perceived? Differently by different people, but in a fundamentally comfortable way. For me, surf is best when I disappear into it. Just as music is best when I lose myself in it.

More of my two cents. I hope it makes sense. I'm still in a rush right now due to the move so I apologize if this isn't as coherent as it could be.
Where there is a beginning, there is an end.

Asa, Bodhisattva has Bodhisattva's problem (stuck). let me explain: For examples.

1) A student speak to himself, I need to study hard, in order to get good grades.

2) That poor man is hungry and cold, let's give him some food.

3) The fireman said to himself: "I've got to save that house".

My point is the mind is driving the everything. It's the way it is! Denying that is denying you, yourself. It is always there! Always free! It is you (your mind) who ties you down. in words, promises (that is why marriage called "tie the knot", etc...

Asa, Who do you think Bodhisattva is? He is a human being! with "an opened heart": Firemen, you, etc... Do you think he was borned out of the mountain's hole or something? It's a state of mind and the level that he is in! Once he realized that it is his own state of mind, he then "free". It is everyday people! You and I, and so is everyone else! Example: You graduate from graduate school, you get a degree, people called you doctor, lawyer, technician, etc... But that does not change your name, doensn't it Mark!

Asa, as you've already known, the way I write by now (stink). As I would say: "I am only 5'4" tall" up there, then I would added later "or short", that is why I said word is leading. See how free I am? But if you could do it better, who stop you?! In fact you wrote beautifully, as I've said many times.

Asa, "In the end, he did not say a word" is a state of mind. after this, I will not get into (or get out) the "neurotic thing", Clueless, you like that, huh? ;-). Let just say that I am UN-STUCK, myself for I have said all my pieces. In a few days, everybody do your own things and FORGOT, would that be enough to say "in the end, he did not say a word"?. Or would I be dead or went crazy, afterward? Buddha, don't lie, so is Jesus, so is Lao Tzu. Don't be confused! Also, I did not write/speak to/for you. So I did not say a word, to you... in the end. :-)

Good bye everyone

Ozfly, you've been using it, it is you, you've just proved it. :-)

He has found me, and I has found him: "The teacher of teachers, the healer of healers". I am not lonely no more. Hahahaha... It's his problem, now. Hahahahahaha...
6ch: you always crack me up; you go away for days, then come back with some big explanatory response - to what, I don't know. You imply that you are teaching me, but what statements of mine do you address? You tell me before there are no levels -trying to "teach" me that then - but then here you say that Bodhisattva has a level - you are playing Zen games (with yourself). Besides, where you got the idea that I thought a Bodhisattva was something other than a human (making him/her other-worldly in a "mountain hole", wherever you got that...) is beyond me.

Here's what I think. I think you go off for a couple of days, get a little Zen bliss high, then come back to me as your foil (to be your mirror) so you can see how "enlightened" you are. Do you need to teach me in order to prove to yourself you are "enlightened"?

I disagree with you: all is not mind, that is mind talking. Mind (thinking) arises from Ground (you've seen that haven't you, in minds that you "see"?) of Silence, yet ground is never separate from mind. Jesus could talk (mind) without karma because all instinctual remnants (Tibetan "defilements") had faded from him; he had transcended all prior minds' attachment throughout all evolution (which, yes, is only HERE/NOW). He had moved past amoeba mind by surrendering to it; not surrender as in it "wins" but by accepting it (its an illusion; its "energy" perpetuated by your resistance to it).

I disagree with you that everyone is "Jesus", or rather knows what he knew in his bones, becoming his bones. I know you want to be the Laughing Buddha gadfly, but samsara exists in most people, and so the Buddha told us. Denial of that is samsara itself. Why did Jesus/Buddha talk at all? The Bodhisattva vow says that one will not stay in Nirvana until all sentient beings (not just humans BTW) are saved from suffering, which, of course, means that some/most beings are suffering. Buddhas don't suffer; they have transcended its attachment - that's what makes them "Buddha". You can be there - yes, RIGHT NOW/HERE - but, for all my affection for you, my friend, you are not there, and that needs to be clearly said. Glad you are enjoying the bliss of your peak exprerience, though. As I said, try to cut back on the Zen books a bit...

Ozfly: thank you for your lucid response. And for more surf.

Yes, primordial patterns of sound exist in us, its not just from culture (although that's where Jung saw it). Like Kant's space/time matrix, or Chomsky's language template, a template for pattern recognition exists (bewteen those two BTW). My point, however, was that the evolutionary forces that "created" this patterning lens in the mind's perception was one that strongly selected an active patterning of sound, yet when we listen to music we are not just actively listening to sound (a twig moving) but the opposite: letting that active orientation go. The forces of survival that lead to active patterning would not seem to be the forces that would lead to the "letting go" of an attachment to that patterning.

Loved what you said though.